“War on Drugs” hit by world leaders

Albert Einstein, offering perhaps the most succinct definition ever of “insanity,” said it was performing the very same task repeatedly, yet expecting a different result each time. The modern world’s most famous physicist could easily have been describing the government’s five-decade old “war on drugs.”

In the past half century, one administration after another has spent billions trying to rid the country of those who choose to ingest non-government sanctioned substances. Far from achieving any measure of ultimate success, the result of this so-called “war” has been a net increase in illicit drug users, a massive increase in police powers, a huge increase in America’s prison population, and a depressing decrease in civil liberties.

Now, a breath of fresh air has wafted into the debate over whether it makes sense for governments to continue to engage in this costly conflict. A report issued by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a panel composed of prominent world leaders, including former Secretary of State George Schultz and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, has concluded that the “global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.”

Unfortunately, and sadly, Washington’s response to this impressive report is likely to be to ignore it, and keep right on marching to the same tune. In so doing, the federal government ignores another key and irrefutable conclusion of the Commission’s report: that the ongoing war on drugs has caused the “growth of a ‘huge criminal black market,’ financed by the risk-escalated profits of supplying international demand for illicit drugs.”

In addition to recommending treatment rather than incarceration for non-violent drug addicts, the commission’s solution is decriminalization of drugs. Despite reservations that most politicians in the United States harbor about decriminalization, the policy has a track record of demonstrable success.

For example, when Portugal decriminalized drugs a decade ago, there were dire warnings that drug usage would increase dramatically and the country would become a destination for tourists seeking to get high. A 2009 white paper, authored by Glenn Greenwald for the Cato Institute, found such predictions have not materialized.

Through his extensive research, Greenwald also found that “drug-related pathologies — such as sexually transmitted diseases and deaths due to drug usage — have decreased dramatically”; and in so doing, decriminalization actually opened the door to better treatment options. Portugal still fines people for possession, and applies no criminal penalties; although drug trafficking remains a crime.

The conclusions reached by the Global Commission are hardly new. In 1996, the National Review, founded by conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr., declared the “War on Drugs is lost.” The magazine’s advocacy of drug legalization was based on pragmatic considerations. The Review also understood that the war was “diverting intelligent energy away from how to deal with the problem of addiction, that it is wasting our resources, and that it is encouraging civil, judicial, and penal procedures associated with police states.” Political leaders predictably ignored what the National Review knew.

Outside the United States, political leaders understand it is our country, with its seeming insatiable appetite for illicit drugs, which must lead the way toward reform. According to the Los Angeles Times, for example, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who says he is open to dialogue despite having stepped up his country’s own bloody war against brutal drug cartels, understands it would be “absurd” to consider legalization in Mexico as long as narcotics remain illegal north of the border, “where the massive demand determines the prices and profitability of the drug trade.”

The rest of the world may be waiting for the United States to at least acknowledge this latest credible conclusion that the billions we spend trying to change human nature, will achieve no more success than in the past decades. Unfortunately, it probably waits in vain.

by Bob Barr — The Barr Code

150 comments Add your comment

Brandon C

June 13th, 2011
5:38 am

I completely agree with Bob on this one. The “War on Drugs” policy has failed the American people time and time again. It has contributed to the moral disinclination of harm reduction, and has favored the criminalization, marginalization, and stigmatization of otherwise victim-less acts of self injustice. Those who do no harm to others, most notably cannabis (i.e marijuana) users, should not be subject to exposure to the criminal world. To curb youth ease-of-access to marijuana we must regulate its production, consumption, distribution, and taxation. Otherwise, we’re leaving it up to the drug dealers to check for IDs (which they don’t), the public safety is at risk of the criminal black market, and responsible adults are prosecuted for choosing a substance that is safer than alcohol. To declare otherwise would be a simple fallacy of observation.

[...] “War on Drugs” hit by world leadersAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The modern world's most famous physicist could easily have been describing the government's five-decade old “war on drugs.” In the past half century, one administration after another has spent billions trying to rid the country of those who choose to …and more » [...]

DeborahinAthens

June 13th, 2011
7:01 am

Legalize all drugs, tax them, and use a portion of the money received to provide treatment instead of putting users in prison. It will be an amazing change for the better, not only for society, but fiscally, as well.

arnold

June 13th, 2011
7:14 am

The hard core right, especially the religious right, will continue to oppose any liberalization of drug laws. The politicians of the right don’t have the courage to lead.

Hammer and Cycle

June 13th, 2011
7:21 am

Some folks think that Einstein was NOT talkin’ ’bout insanity. He was referring to quantum physics’ claim that you can do the same experiment over and over and get different results. He was calling Neils Bohr “insane” as a quick cut. Einstein didn’t understand probability. Incredible, eh?

Quantum Physics 101: Light has to be observed to exist. Otherwise there’s only a probability of there being light.

Quantumly Insane

June 13th, 2011
7:35 am

I don’t need no drugs man. I only took 22 hits of acid, man….uh, two hits. and I never did no downers man.

The war on drugs is necessary simply because there are so many morons, imbeciles and stuntwits commenting on blogs, that why should we aggravate the troll problem by encouraging same to do drugs? We simply can’t have these hollow-skulled mullets-in-training driving on our roads or flying our planes (pilots’ ranks are filled with morons. Witness that cyber-caused over-flight a while ago.)

Morons. All.

They make you silly and rabid; drugs are for kids.

Jimmy62

June 13th, 2011
7:53 am

arnold: I think you’d be very surprised. The hard core religious right is a lot more concerned with abortion than drugs. In fact, I would hazard to say that few citizens are in favor of the continued war on drugs, and that it is entrenched interests that keep it going. SWAT teams that will lose their funding, and thus reason for existing, criminal lawyers who will lose half their clients, judges who won’t have enough cases to keep them employed, prison guards who won’t have enough prisoners left to justify the number of guards employed, DEA agents who won’t have anything to do, politicians who are scared of appearing soft on crime, these are some of the many reasons the war on drugs exists to this day.

It’s not the religious right and you are fooling yourself if you think that. The enemy here is the government itself, and more specifically, the people employed by the war on drugs, the people getting rich off of it.

Jefferson

June 13th, 2011
8:01 am

Saving money has never been popular with the GOP, they will cut their nose to spite their face. They have no credibility, what have they done for GA ?

malcolm kyle

June 13th, 2011
8:16 am

Some simple facts:

* A rather large majority of people will always feel the need to use drugs, such as heroin, opium, nicotine, amphetamines, alcohol, sugar, or caffeine.

* Due to Prohibition, the availability of mind-altering drugs has become so universal and unfettered, that in any city of the civilized world, any one of us would be able to procure practically any drug we wish within an hour.

* The massive majority of people who use drugs do so recreationally – getting high at the weekend then up for work on a Monday morning.

* A small minority of people will always experience drug use as problematic.

* Throughout history, the prohibition of any mind-altering substance has always exploded usage rates, overcrowded jails, fueled organized crime, created rampant corruption of law-enforcement, even whole governments, and induced an incalculable amount of suffering and death.

* It’s not even possible to keep drugs out of prisons, but prohibitionists wish to waste hundreds of billions of our money in an utterly futile attempt to keep them off our streets.

* Prohibition kills more people and ruins more lives than the prohibited drugs have ever done.

* The United States jails a larger percentage of it’s own citizens than any other country in the world, including those run by the worst totalitarian regimes.

* In ‘the land formally known as free’, all citizens have been stripped of their 4th amendment rights and are now totally subordinate to a corporatized, despotic government with a heavily armed and corrupt, militarized police force whose often deadly intrusions into their homes and lives are condoned by an equally corrupt and spineless judiciary.

* As with torture, prohibition is a grievous crime against humanity. If you support it, or even simply tolerate it by looking the other way while others commit it, you are an accessory to a very serious moral transgression against humanity.

* America re-legalized certain drug use in 1933. The drug was alcohol, and the 21st amendment re-legalized its production, distribution and sale. Both alcohol consumption and violent crime dropped immediately as a result, and, very soon after, the American economy climbed out of that same prohibition engendered abyss into which it had previously been pushed.

Carlosgvv

June 13th, 2011
8:31 am

The only problem I have with drugs is that more and more people would be driving impared and more deaths would result. It may be, though, that other drug related deaths would go down so maybe it’s a tradeoff. As for Einstein, if we vote every four years for President and think that this time it will make a difference, does that make all voters insane?

FreddyF

June 13th, 2011
8:55 am

The War on Drugs is probably one of the reasons the west is drowning in dept. The cost of policing drug users, putting them through the legal system and then keeping them in prison keeps a lot of people in secure employment. Unfortunately, those people are not producing anything that produces any revenue for the country as a whole. They are just taking money from tax payers of their own country. Most drug users are not addicted, don’t have any particular medical problem, work for a living and don’t really need “treatment”. Only the “problem” users make the news, after all. Keeping them in prison is keeping them not only costs a lot of money but prevents them from earning any money.

All this nonsense is called “economic growth”. Unfortunately the growth is cancerous and is a an auto-immune disease of the countries foolish enough to continue with the War on Drugs.

Tosh.No

June 13th, 2011
9:05 am

Carlosgvv, Yes. This country is filled with insane sheep, and it will not get any better any time soon…

Betty

June 13th, 2011
9:07 am

What bothers me most of all is how our government allows the medical field to pump psychotic drugs into young children. This subjects the child’s body to all manner of abnormality and abuse, including loss of appetite. Many act like they’re on meth. Why subject small children to this, and where will this treatment lead them later in life? Plus, look at all our military who commit suicide after continued use of government issued psychotic drugs. Legalizing this dangerous medication was a big mistake, and now some people want MORE! Rethink this, please, Bob!

brad

June 13th, 2011
9:15 am

Betty, please enlighten us as to what specific drugs you are referring to.

Mark

June 13th, 2011
9:17 am

Organized crime and pharmacuetical companies work hand in hand these days. Though the traditional drug cartels exist, a new more disturbing trend is the “wellness Centers” or “Pain Clinics” handing out scripts like candy to “Patients”. These Patients are “Sponsored” by drug dealers who help falsify or obtain bogus MRI’s, Split or buy the script drugs and sale them on the street. Roxies Zanex, Methadone…what you need? These “clinics” even have the nerve to take cash money and move people up in line the day of the visit…”Just a another 350.00 sir and we can have you in and out in a minute…” and the Pharmacuetical companies love the business…

why

June 13th, 2011
9:17 am

why, please tell me why won’t this get serious consideration in Washington or locally? The Christian right just can’t get over decades of anti-drug propaganda to muster up the courage and the brains to leagalize. YOU CANT LEGISLATE MORALITY. It just never works.

why

June 13th, 2011
9:20 am

Carlosgv – look at the studies where other countries legalized….none of your fears came true. let’s stop assuming we know what’s gonna happen when we legalize and pay attn. to the countries who actually did this and have an honest look at what the results were. That’s what’s so upsetting asbout this debate, most people have drawn conclusions based on nothing. Leagalize now, before another rapist or violent criminal gets parroled to make room for sme kind who sold an ounce of an illeagal plant for god’s sake.

Keith

June 13th, 2011
9:29 am

Many agencies depend on confiscation to meet their budgets and for empire building. Twiggs County sheriff’s office size doubled in four years, financed by confiscations. Money and jobs is why it continues.

Dirty Harry

June 13th, 2011
9:30 am

Tell me how you like it when some cracked out wacko does his drugs (legally) and then enters your house and mutilates your family………I can hear it now, “but Your Honor, I was temporarily insane due to legal substances”. I understand that people who want drugs will get drugs, but giving up the fight against this activity totally seems to be a GUTLESS move.

Good Grief

June 13th, 2011
9:31 am

One of the main reasons marijuana isn’t legal already is the lobbying power of cigarette and alcohol companies. I was raised by very religious, right-leaning parents, and I’m very religious myself, but the Libertarian in me says “Legalize.” Studies show that it’s cheaper to legalize and offer treatment plans than to maintain the illegality of these substances. It also frees up room in the prisons for the people who actually deserve to be there and it takes some strain off the taxpayer. And if the government is smart, they’ll find a way to tax the crap out of it, same as with cigarettes.

Bob Barr = hypocrite

June 13th, 2011
9:33 am

From Wikipedia : “Clearly, the court today has ignored the constitutional right and responsibility of Congress to pass laws protecting citizens from dangerous and addictive narcotics, and the right of Congress to exert legislative control over the District of Columbia as the nation’s capital”.
— Bob Barr, March 28, 2002[46]

In less than 10 years, a TOTAL FLIP FLOP. The War on Drugs was as much a failure in 2002 as it is today. Why should anyone listen to what this bozo has to say?

Davey Boy Smith

June 13th, 2011
9:37 am

Really, it makes too much sense to legalize marijuana for it to ever get done. Let’s see, cut the profits of the Mexican drug cartels while providing much needed tax revenues for counties, states and feds. Check.

The government would also have the chance to regulate the strength and potency of the marijuana grown, so that there would not be a continual escalation of varieties as there is now.

Providing much needed jobs for rural communities around the United States? Check.

Destroying the issue of marijuana as a “gateway drug,” by allowing those who wish to partake in it the opportunity to buy if from a legit dealer instead of having to deal in a black market where dealers are always trying to “upsell” their customers. Check.

Enjoying the multitude of other uses that hemp can provide. Check.

The biggest question people should be asking is why marijuana was ever outlawed in the first place. I do believe that we need to continue to rid the country of drugs like ectasy and cocaine, which can cause significant physical and psychological damage to the users, but marijuana is simply not a bad drug.

Give me a break

June 13th, 2011
9:44 am

Is too bad Mr.Barr didn’t tried to do something about it when he was a congressman.

Dirty Harry

June 13th, 2011
9:45 am

Davey Boy, you need to do a little more research on marijuana……..not nearly as harmless as you are saying…………maybe you’ve had too much yourself.

Ramzad

June 13th, 2011
9:50 am

In 1988 former when Mayor of Baltimore, Kurt Schmoke told a House Select Committee on Narcotic Abuse and Control that legalization of illicit drugs was an approach the United States should consider he had his head handed to him.

Fast forward almost twenty three years and narco-terrorists are turning Mexico into a failed state,
our narcotics control industry is sucking us dry, our addict population is going through the roof,
and a kilo of cocaine is pretty much bargain basement at Walmart. Go figure….

Lt Col Razorback

June 13th, 2011
10:12 am

If anyone can figure out how to keep drugs, legal or illegal, out of the reach of children, then go for it!!
Tax “dope” at 100% of its price and apply the revenue to lowering the $14 Trillion (with a “T”) deficit, lowering Federal income taxes for EVERYONE (even the s-called “rich), and or shoring up the badly depleted coffers of both Social Security and Medicare.

luangtom

June 13th, 2011
10:15 am

I sit and chuckle when I see those bible-thumping folks sit with their mint-juleps and condemn any and all reference to drugs and their legalization. The same was done during prohibition by, most likely, the ancestors of those condemning the legalization of drugs. It would certainly be a source of new revenue for governments.

The nay-sayers do not listen to reason. Even though this most recent report was completed by a panel of former government servants, it will be ignored because our elected officials feel they know what is best for us and our country. Just look at how well they have done with the deficit, the economy and foreign policy. This topic will continue to be discussed and bantered about and we will continue to see the “war” march on and billions of dollars be spent needlessly. Little changes in Washington, DC, no matter who is sitting in the seats of power.

On a different note…..compare how many drunk-driving deaths you hear about on the news versus how many marijuana-caused driving deaths you hear about. I see few in the AJC reports……..

LukasAtl

June 13th, 2011
10:17 am

Davey Boy,

Marijuana was banned for these reasons:

1. Hemp fiber can produce a better paper than wood (specifically pine), and was a competing product to a number of wood pulp paper makers (William Randoph Hearst to name one).
2. Hemp fibers can be used to create ropes, clothing, etc, competing against artificial fibers (nylon) and cotton.
3. In the 1920’s and 1930’s marijuana was being used by latinos and blacks. The western states pushed outlawing the substance as a means to force the latino populate to leave / emigrate.

Finally, and most importantly to a social conservative, in the 1960’s Marijuana was blamed for the social upheaval at the time …. the current DEA and war on drugs is a reaction to this social upheaval …

oldguy

June 13th, 2011
10:17 am

Bob you are right on for once we agree!!!

sl3_007

June 13th, 2011
10:18 am

This argument that the streets will be filled with more drivers under the influence with some type of legalization is weak. You don’t think they are not out there right now? How about the folks on prescription meds? No different than alcohol. You get a dui and lose your license. Let’s quit wasting billions on this insane war on drugs. The gov’t is intruding into our lives way too much and needs to be trimmed back.

Barack

June 13th, 2011
10:20 am

Nancy Reagan was the secret weapon to win the war against illegal drug use…”Just say no”. That should do it folks.

TRUTH

June 13th, 2011
10:22 am

Weed v. Alcohol… My vote is on the herb.

The war on drugs is necessary for the more addictive substances, heroin, cocaine, and their hybrids. It is STILL illegal to take non-prescribed meds (although this is more common than thought due to the costs of medicine). But I’m sure it will be viewed a slippery slope.

It still remains an individual matter. Moderation, moderization….

Common Sense

June 13th, 2011
10:22 am

@Dirty Harry
That is the most ignorant statement I have read on this blog so far. You are implying because drugs are illegal now that their illegality is preventing someone from getting high and “entering your house and mutilating your family.” That’s just stupid. Someone can enter your home today high on crack, and people do it everyday whether drugs are legal or not. And just like Ron Paul said at the first GOP debate, if cocaine were legalized tomorrow doesn’t mean everyone is going to go out and do it. I am a health educator and statistics prove people DO NOT do drugs based on legality the do them for a whole number of reasons. Quite simple if making drugs illegal prevented drug use then why do over 100 millions Americans abuse drugs including prescription medication?

Law Dawg

June 13th, 2011
10:23 am

Glad to see Mr. Barr has had such an epiphany in his life over the War of Drugs. As a former U.S. Attorney, who strongly prosecuted drug offenders, and a former leader on a congressional task force for a drug free America, I guess it’s refreshing to see his attitude change. I wonder, though, if this is just the efforts of a politician shifting with the changing winds of time (read: get in line with the Tea Party and it’s version of limited government). Hmmmm?

Law Dawg

June 13th, 2011
10:28 am

@Jimmy62 – Got to agree with you on the last part – Follow the money. The State of Georgia spends over $1 Billion (yes, Billion, with a “B”) on it’s annual budget to incarcerate people and probably 75% of them are drug crimes or crimes stemming from drug addictions that could be better spent with treatment/etc. Do you think the companies that profit off this are going to stand by and miss out on their slice of that pie? Not likely any time soon.

sl3_007

June 13th, 2011
10:28 am

With cotton prices getting so high we need a good competitor which is hemp. I have sneakers made of the stuff and wearing very well. Feels very similar to cotton.

Rational Citizen

June 13th, 2011
10:29 am

If politicians were to decriminalize drugs, the prison population would decline dramatically. But then those who stand to benefit from locking people up, from the construction companies that get paid with government money to build the prisons, to the private corporations who profit from serving the prisons, wouldn’t contribute to the politicians’ campaign. Rule #1 of politics in this nation: don’t bite the hand that feeds you. God bless America!

MB

June 13th, 2011
10:29 am

In response to Lt Col Razorback – Who do you think is more likely to ask Little Johnny for an ID before purchasing marijuana, a drug dealer or a convenience store clerk?

really?

June 13th, 2011
10:31 am

Dirty Harry….what harms does Marijuana cause? I know Lawyers and Doctors who have smoked it frequently for years. The only harmful effects come from smoking it. Its a myth that it kills brain cells, and there is no direct evidence that it even causes lung cancer as of yet. Marijuana, by itself, has never killed anyone…thats a fact. Ignorance is bliss. Legalize it….its a harmless drug. Much better than Alcohol for you, and way less dangerous to yourself and society.

malcolm kyle

June 13th, 2011
10:34 am

Dirty Harry, being a prohibitionist, you owe us answers to the following questions:

#1. Why do you rejoice at the fact that we have all been stripped of our 4th amendment rights and are now totally subordinate to a corporatized, despotic government with a heavily armed and corrupt, militarized police force whose often deadly intrusions into our homes and lives are condoned by an equally corrupt and spineless judiciary?

#2. Why do you wish to continue to spend $50 billion a year to prosecute and cage your fellow citizens for choosing drugs which are not more dangerous than those of which you yourself use and approve of such as alcohol and tobacco?

#3. Do you honestly expect the rest of us to look on passively while you waste another trillion dollars on this garbage policy?

#4. Why are your waging war on your own family, friends and neighbors?

#5. Why are you so complacent with the fact that our once ‘free & proud’ nation now has the largest percentage of it’s citizenry incarcerated than any other on the entire planet?

#6. Why are you helping to fuel a budget crisis to the point of closing hospitals, schools and libraries?

#7. Why do you rejoice at wasting precious resources on prohibition related undercover work while rapists and murderers walk free, while additionally, many cases involving murder and rape do not even get taken to trial because law enforcement priorities are subverted by your beloved failed and dangerous policy?

#8. Why are you such a supporter of the ‘prison industrial complex’ to the extent of endangering our own children?

#9. Will you graciously applaud, when due to your own incipient and authoritarian approach, even your own child is caged and raped?

* It is estimated that there are over 300,000 instances of prison rape a year.
* 196,000 are estimated to happen to men in prison.
* 123,000 are estimated to happen to men in county jail.
* 40,000 are estimated to be committed against boys in either adult prisons or while in juvenile facilities or lock ups.
* 5000 women are estimated to be raped in prison.

http://www.loompanics.com/Articles/RapeInPrison.html

#10. And will you also applaud when your own child, due to an unnecessary and counter productive felony conviction, can no longer find employment?

Private prisons are publicly traded and their stock value is tied to the number of inmates. Here’s what the UK Economist Magazine thinks of the situation: “Never in the civilised world have so many been locked up for so little” http://www.economist.com/node/16636027

According to Paul Craig Roberts, a former editor of the Wall Street Journal and former assistant secretary to the treasury under Ronald Reagan, “Police in the US now rival criminals, and exceed terrorists as the greatest threat to the American public.”

“Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’, fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.”  – William F. Buckley, Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

There is no conflict between liberty and safety. We will have both or neither.
William Ramsey Clark (1927–)

Really tired of this

June 13th, 2011
10:40 am

The WAR on drugs in this country is an oxymoron! War on illegal drugs in America is like a WAR on our income and way of life! Our the past few decades we have focused our entire economy on the so called WAR on drugs! Our Judicary system, legal system, policed departmenst, federal police groups, FBI, CIA all depend on finances that derived from monies atributed to this so called WAR. We would have fewer, Judges, Lawyers, jailers, policemen, ect. The loss of these jobs would directly effect other areas such as educators, administrators, janitors, trash men and more!

shelbydawkins

June 13th, 2011
10:45 am

It funds the police state. As long as there is more profit in drugs being illegal (plenty of that on both sides) then drugs will remain illegal. When the balance shifts to the other direction (probably not in my lifetime) then drugs will be made legal. As far as the ill effects legalization may cause, I’d be ecstatic to trade for what might be (more impaired drivers, more deaths, which is just total BS anyway) than what passes for the status quo now.

My 2 Cents Worth

June 13th, 2011
10:50 am

O civilization and its discontents. A nomadic life is the best way to go.

Ramzad

June 13th, 2011
10:50 am

Any argument that some sort of decriminalization/legalization will increase drug abuse ought to be evaluated for psychosis, because the “War on Drugs,” so far, has been powerless to stop new narcotic experimenters.

In the short term decriminalization/legalization there would be the natural “rat in the corn field” syndrome, but it is ridiculous to believe that those who have no intention to use drugs would start using if drugs were legalized. Peter Tosh told us to “Legalize it” in 1976, and we continue to operate this fraud called the “War on Drugs.”

Mexican terror Cartels must be trembling at the thought of drugs legalized in the United States.

Jimmy62

June 13th, 2011
10:50 am

Wow, the anger against Bob Barr for daring to change his mind is astounding. Yes, if you go back 10 or even 20 years, you see Mr. Barr as basically a hardcore rightwing authoritarian. And in the years since, he seems to have discovered the value of true freedom. I’m going to celebrate this change rather than condemn him for not being incredibly stubborn. As far as the accusation that he’s doing to win votes, that’s ridiculous. Conservatives who start going libertarian like Mr. Barr tend to become less electable. But also more principled!

Hillbilly D

June 13th, 2011
10:53 am

If you legalize all drugs, the only place the users can get the money to buy it, is to steal. I’ve never known many drug addicts who could hold down a job. Nearly all burglaries and thefts in my area can be traced back to drugs.

Devil's Advocate

June 13th, 2011
10:54 am

So if drugs are legalized, what happens when the current cartels decide they don’t want to pay taxes because they enjoy what ever business owner would love to enjoy, their profits? How will regulating and taxing drugs stop people from obtaining their drug of choice from their current suppliers? In other words, the current “bad guys” will still be in control and unless they wish to be good tax paying people, nothing will change about the trafficking and distribution other than more competition from “legit” companies entering the newly legal drug trade. But how can a legit business compete with the black market? It’s the opposite of bootleg movies and music, the black market is already established as the dominant economy in the drug world.

I don’t want the “War on Drugs” to turn into the “War on Getting Drug Dealers to Pay Their Taxes” resulting in the same level of spending or even more as the IRS joins law enforcement in the war.

It seems that successful legalization means turning a complete blind eye and letting drugs be a free-for-all since we’re ok with humans being humans. Why not let it be a free-for-all? What could possibly go wrong?

TallaDawg

June 13th, 2011
10:55 am

Dirty Harry @ 9:30-

The real crime would still be illegal, and the justice and corrections systems would have more time and resources to deal properly with the real criminals. Besides, this occurs contiually in our society without any drugs, caused by “love” or “passion.”

Dirty Harry

June 13th, 2011
10:56 am

Keep smoking your weed, Common Sense. Just because your a health educator doesn’t mean you’re a good one. If we legalize murder would people be more likely to do it less?…..sheeeesh!

Dirty Harry

June 13th, 2011
10:56 am

Really?, that goes for you, too.

malcolm kyle

June 13th, 2011
10:57 am

Alcohol is a factor in the following

* 73% of all felonies * 73% of child beating cases * 41% of rape cases * 80% of wife battering cases * 72% of stabbings * 83% of homicides.

According to the Australian National Drug Research Institute (2003): “Tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs are prematurely killing around seven million people worldwide each year, and robbing tens of millions more of a healthy life. The research into the global burden of disease attributable to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs found that in 2000, tobacco use was responsible for 4.9 million deaths worldwide, equating to 71 percent of all drug-related deaths. Around 1.8 million deaths were attributable to the use of alcohol (26 percent of all drug-related deaths), and illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine and amphetamines) caused approximately 223,000 deaths (3 percent of all drug-related deaths).”

According to DrugRehabs.Org, national mortality figures for 2009 were: tobacco 435,000; poor diet and physical inactivity 365,000; alcohol 85,000; microbial agents 75,000; toxic agents 55,000; motor vehicle crashes 26,347; adverse reactions to prescription drugs 32,000; suicide 30,622; incidents involving firearms 29,000; homicide 20,308; sexual behaviors 20,000; all illicit drug use, direct and indirect 17,000; and marijuana 0.

Apart from the fact that legal drugs kill far more people than all the illegal drugs combined, debating whether a particular drug is harmless or not is missing the whole point. Are drugs like Heroin, Meth or Alcohol dangerous? It simply doesn’t matter, because if we prohibit them then we sure as hell know that it makes a bad situation far worse. If someone wants to attempt to enhance or destroy their lives with particular medicines or poisons, that should be their business, not anybody else’s. Their lives aren’t ours to direct. And anyway, who wants to give criminals a huge un-taxed, endless revenue stream?

A great many of us are slowly but surely wising up to the fact that the best avenue towards realistically dealing with drug use and addiction is through proper regulation which is what we already do with alcohol & tobacco, clearly two of our most dangerous mood altering substances. But for those of you whose ignorant and irrational minds traverse a fantasy plane of existence, you will no doubt remain sorely upset with any type of solution that does not seem to lead to your absurd and unattainable utopia of a drug free society.

really?

June 13th, 2011
11:02 am

Devils Advocate….the street prices for drugs are already inflated way beyond what the drugs are actually worth. Even with government taxation the prices should drop significantly. This price drop will put many drug dealers out of business and make getting marijuana like picking up a six pack of Budweiser. The illegality of drugs is what makes them profitable. Its kind of funny, if you read the writings of many temperance movement supporters during the last days of prohibition, you hear many of the same arguments. Sure there is still a black market for alcohol, but its tiny and insignificant because you can go to the local convenience store and buy it. The same thing would happen if you legalize marijuana. Its a win win for society even if you dont chose to smoke it.

MB

June 13th, 2011
11:04 am

Bob Barr is not a hypocrite on this issue. He has changed his mind after analyzing the facts. There is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes a pig-headed “stay the course” is just not the answer.

Logical Dude

June 13th, 2011
11:20 am

So, Bob, how about going before congress and starting your own lobbying group for this? You have the connections and the drive. Can you get congress on your side? If not, why not?

It seems a no-brainer. Prohibition does not work!

Dirty Harry

June 13th, 2011
11:21 am

Really?, so you want it legalized so it will be cheaper for YOU!!…..I get it now, silly me.

Devil's Advocate

June 13th, 2011
11:24 am

really?

So are we only talking about legalizing marijuana or everything because anytime I hear about a huge bust involving violence it’s typically not the MJ. If we’re only going to legalize MJ then how would the “War on Drugs” be over?

So meth, crack, ice, heroine, etc. Will those come as easy as a 6-pack too?

Nope

June 13th, 2011
11:29 am

As long as the Republican Party and many Democrats continue to bow down to the far right Christian extremists, this will never happen.

malcolm kyle

June 13th, 2011
11:40 am

It’s time for us all to stop being ignorant hypocrites and start being TRUE conservatives!

Pragmatic libertarians (minimal-statists) and “true” Conservatives agree that many, if not most, of society’s problems are caused by government usurping choices that could better be made by individuals and that government is just about the worst way of doing almost anything. Where libertarianism normally parts company with “fake” conservatism is over moral issues. But a true conservative would have no problem with agreeing, that what people do with their own bodies, and especially in the privacy of their own home, should be supremely their business, and that anything else would entail ignoring the basic tenet of limited government.

Fake-Conservatism on the other hand has much in common with socialism; Both Leftists and Fake-Conservatives appear to harbor the belief that nature does not exist and that any human can be anything he wants to be, or can for the “greater good”, be “re-educated” into being. Leftists therefore think little boys can be conditioned into preferring dolls over toy soldiers, and similarly Fake-conservatives believe that adults can be coerced into choosing alcohol over marijuana. A true conservative, just like a pragmatic libertarian, would immediately reject both ideas as nonsense.

If you support prohibition then you are NOT a conservative.
Conservative principles, quite clearly, ARE:

1) Limited, locally controlled government.
2) Individual liberty coupled with personal responsibility.
3) Free enterprise.
4) A strong national defense.
5) Fiscal responsibility.

Prohibition is actually an authoritarian War on the economy, the Constitution and all civic institutions of our great nation.

It’s all about the market and cost/benefit analysis. Whether any particular drug is good, bad, or otherwise is irrelevant! As long as there is demand for any mind altering substance, there will be supply; the end! The only affect prohibiting it has is to drive the price up, increase the costs and profits, and where there is illegal profit to be made criminals and terrorists thrive.

The cost of criminalizing citizens who are using substances no more harmful than similar things that are perfectly legal like alcohol and tobacco, is not only hypocritical and futile, but also simply not worth the incredible damage it does.

Afghani farmers produce approx. 93% of the world’s opium which is then, mostly, refined into street heroin then smuggled throughout Eastern and Western Europe.

Both the Taliban and the terrorists of al Qaeda derive their main income from the prohibition-inflated value of this very easily grown crop, which means that Prohibition is the “Goose that laid the golden egg” and the lifeblood of terrorists as well as drug cartels. Only those opposed, or willing to ignore this fact, want things the way they are.

See: How opium profits the Taliban: http://tinyurl.com/37mr86k

or: A GLOBAL OVERVIEW OF NARCOTICS-FUNDED TERRORIST GROUPS
http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/pdf-files/NarcsFundedTerrs_Extrems.pdf

According to data gathered by privacy expert Christopher Soghoian (PhD candidate at Indiana University), 85-90% of real-time surveillance of your Internet communication is wasted on prohibition enforcement.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jJDCxzKmROY#t=342s
- he discusses drug related Internet wiretaps at 5min 42sec

Prohibition provides America’s sworn enemies with financial “aid” and tactical “comforts”. The Constitution of the United States of America defines treason as:
“Article III / Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

Support for prohibition is therefor an act of treason against the Constitution, and a dire threat to the nation’s civic institutions.

The Founding Fathers were not social conservatives who believed that citizens should be subordinate to any particular narrow religious moral order. That is what the whole concept of unalienable individual rights means, and sumptuary laws, especially in the form of prohibition, were something they continually warned about.

It is way past time for us all to wise up and help curtail the dangerous expansions of federal police powers, the encroachments on individual liberties, and the increasing government expenditure devoted to enforcing the unworkable and dangerous policy of drug prohibition.

To support prohibition you have to be either ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, insane or corrupt.

* The US national debt has increased at an average rate of $3,000,000000 per day since 2006. http://www.usdebtclock.org/
* The unemployment rate has increased by 7300 per day since 2008.
* The loss of manufacturing jobs has been 1400 per day since 2006.
* Without the legalized regulation of opium products Afghanistan will continue to be a bottomless pit in which to throw countless billions of tax dollars and wasted American lives.
* The hopeless situation in Afghanistan is helping to destabilize it’s neighbor, Pakistan, which is a country with nuclear weapons.
* The mayhem in Mexico has deteriorated so badly that it’s bordering on farcical.

There is nothing conservative about prohibition, which enlists the most centralized state power in displacement of domestic and community roles. There is everything authoritarian and subversive about this policy which has incinerated American traditions such as Freedom and Federalism with its puritanical flames. Any person seeking to insure and not further compromise the safety of their family and of their neighbors must not only repudiate prohibition but help spearhead its abolition.

“Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.” – William F. Buckley, Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

We will always have adults who are too immature to responsibly deal with tobacco, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, meth, various prescription drugs, gambling and even food. Our answer to them should always be: “Get a Nanny, and stop turning the government into one for the rest of us!”

TYC

June 13th, 2011
11:43 am

Well, I really wanted to do business inside the store but if prohibitionists wants me to do my business outside in the parking lot…then, I’ll just keep doing what I do now. It’s not like any law is stopping me from getting anything. Sure, there’s a War on Drugs but the drugs have won and they are powerful and more plentiful than ever before. Yeah! The new guys even deliver just like the pizza guy and the prices are dropping! You aren’t stopping anything with your War on Drugs! Please keep it going.

The prohibitionists have used the ‘lock ‘em in jail and throw away the key strategy…yeah, how’s that working out. You can get black tar heroin, crack, pot, coke, you name it in a maximum security prison. What makes the prohibitionist think that he can keep the same off of his street?

It’s not going away, folks. Who do you want to handle a billion dollar industry, drug gangs or a regulated business? It really is that simple of a choice.

Now, prohibitionists, call me names and threaten me with prison but that’s all you have. Nothing! You don’t have a single logical, fact based reason based in reality or fact to maintain the War on (people who use) Drugs.

Edawg

June 13th, 2011
11:56 am

I agree Bob.

malcolm kyle

June 13th, 2011
11:58 am

“So meth, crack, ice, heroine, etc. Will those come as easy as a 6-pack too?”

We already have legalized regulation of two of the world’s most dangerous drugs – alcohol & nicotine. And all of the ‘at present’ prohibited drugs do already come as easy as a six-pack. Due to Prohibition, the availability of mind-altering drugs has become so universal and unfettered, that in any city of the civilized world, any one of us would be able to procure practically any drug we wish 24/7 and within an hour. Prohibition is a ‘free for all’ where all the profits go to terrorists, illegal cartels and street punks.

This is what proper regulation may look like in the future: http://www.tdpf.org.uk/blueprint%20download.htm

Based on the unalterable proviso that drug use among all echelons of society is essentially an unstoppable and ongoing human behavior which has been with us since the dawn of time, any serious reading on the subject of past attempts at any form of drug prohibition would point most normal thinking people in the direction of sensible regulation.

MrLiberty

June 13th, 2011
12:03 pm

Bob – I once heard you tell the Regular Guys that we couldn’t legalize marijuana because “it alters one’s view of reality” or something similar and that it was too dangerous. Leaving aside the fact that many prescription drugs and alcohol do the same thing, would it be too much to ask of you for a giant appology for your contributions to the insanity we now all suffer under????

The Libertarian Party targetted you as one of the biggest Drug Warriors in congress. I helped contribute to the wonderful campaign ad with the dying elderly woman in the hospital bed who was saying that YOU wanted to deny her her medicine (medical marijuana). Your history is on display for all to see. You do have a lot of connections. You do have a lot of sway with the otherwise Puritanical crowd in washington. Get out your phone and do some convincing. Work with Ron Paul and Rand Paul on some solid legislation to end the war on drugs, to defund the DEA, to abolish the FDA and the other things that will be needed to restore freedom.

Let’s see some action, not just words.

Devil's Advocate

June 13th, 2011
12:08 pm

malcolm kyle

I don’t disagree with your post but I’m just playing my name here as when many people say “legalize drugs to save money” they really mean “legalize marijuana to save money”. I’m just putting it all on the table for public consumption. It’s all or nothing, otherwise there’s no point in legalizing only MJ.

Jimmy62

June 13th, 2011
12:10 pm

Nope: Again, it’s not the religious right prosecuting the war on drugs. They aren’t making money off of it, but you know who is? Police officers, lawyers, SWAT teams, judges, DEA agents, politicians, and a bunch of other people whose jobs and incomes depend on the continuing drug war. Go ahead and blame it on the religious right, the trial lawyers would love that while they laugh on the way to deposit their legal fees from the drug war in their bank.

Al Gore

June 13th, 2011
12:16 pm

Smoking dope leads to global warming

Spock

June 13th, 2011
12:22 pm

The financial windfall in trading of illicit street drugs is leading to lethal violence (when compared to something like drunk driving). Look beyond our own streets to the hideous and vile murders that happen in Mexico by the cartels, for example. This is also happening in our own back yard. Decriminalizing marijuana would alleviate the illegal profit incentive and put much needed tax money into our coffers.

GT

June 13th, 2011
12:26 pm

The spending on this front and the wars we are in, unlike the domestic spending the Republicans rail against, a cloud of mystic very much like the hedge fund managers recipe for his returns. The BOP operates like the CIA. To get any detailed explanation even for the press is pushing a rope. This attitude dominoes through out the conservative sacred cows like the FBI, military and Homeland Security. A huge amount of money is spent by our government to make sure we are afraid of drugs, or weapons of mass destruction, or that lone wolf. Little is ever heard about the losing of this “war” very much like, in my day, Viet Nam. The government adds to the sum of money spent and has us paying ,as a nation, for misinformation, so they can continue to fund these boondoggles.

In “liberal’ domestic spending the facts sit there on an accounting sheet, there is no cloud of mystery. The public is very awake to the going ons. So when you look in your refrigerator and you see domestic cost, it is the first thing you eat. Hidden in the back is the price tag for lost causes that never get eaten and began to smell the whole refrigerator up unless they are removed. But it is the owner of the refrigerator’s favor food so it never gets touched. In South Carolina where the textile business went over seas federal prisons took their place. Storm Thurman’s family even owned property in Edgefield, S.C. where a fed prison is located today. Around the country you see the same, a cloak of secrecy that seldom gets the light of day.

malcolm kyle

June 13th, 2011
12:30 pm

“Smoking dope leads to global warming”

Marijuana is a weed, but due to prohibition many people are forced to grow indoors with all the problems and extra energy consumption that this entails. Now add to this the indoor cultivation on a massive scale done only for profit. You’re statement should have read: Prohibiting dope leads to global warming.

Both the Taliban and the terrorists of al Qaeda derive their main income from the prohibition-inflated value of another very easily grown weed, which means that Prohibition is the “Goose that laid the golden egg” and the lifeblood of terrorists as well as drug cartels. Only those opposed, or willing to ignore this fact, want things the way they are.

See: A GLOBAL OVERVIEW OF NARCOTICS-FUNDED TERRORIST GROUPS
http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/pdf-files/NarcsFundedTerrs_Extrems.pdf

Mark

June 13th, 2011
12:33 pm

From “The Japanese Imperial Conspriacy”, the Japanese took over an island with 40% opium users, three steps, government sells the product for less than the black market, government registers users, government educates the young. Result, 40 years later .5% users.

MrLiberty

June 13th, 2011
12:39 pm

Mark – versus the US/CIA conspiracy where the CIA can’t get any real funding from the US government and congress and so sets up shop in various parts of the world to import either raw materials or finished product back to their customers in the US (Air America, Iran/Contra, etc.) In the Imperial US Conspiracy a whole lot of poor folks in the inner cities have their lives and their communities ruined by crack while murder becomes the primary cause of teen deaths and half the male population ends up behind bars. And there are actually folks who think our government is there to keep us safe and to protect us.

Mark

June 13th, 2011
12:51 pm

The Japanese were no saints, they got rid of drugs to have workers for their factories and farms. Just history, anyway during prohibition there were more alcoholics than before, decriminalization and taxation led to moonshine wars, legalization would mean deciding what to be DUI on. Do we really need drugs?

Ezra

June 13th, 2011
12:55 pm

“fact based reason based in reality or fact to maintain the War on (people who use) Drugs.”

There lies the heart of the problem–drug users! Make using drugs the same crime as producing, transporting, and selling huge quanities of drugs. If you get 20yrs for smoking pot, then the jail population would definitely get smaller. If you make using drugs a capitol offense, prison beds would be available for new offenders.

Mudfoot

June 13th, 2011
1:04 pm

I’ve never been able to make any sense of the US marijuana policies. Alcohol is so much more damaging and dangerous, and it is THE true gateway drug… yet it remains legal while marijuana remains a schedule 1 substance. That’s friggin’ absurd! If someone smokes too much, they’re not gonna be stomping around a bar looking for a fight or go home and beat their wife, they’re not gonna be weaving around on the roads without a clue and they’re not gonna be beligerent and violent when confronted. They’ll either go take a nap or raid the refrigerator, or maybe enjoy a movie that isn’t really all that good or laygh at a joke that isn’t all that funny. The most criminal element to all of this is the amount of money we piss away on this futile effort and the ignorance portrayed by our legislators by keeping and forwarding these outdated and disproven laws in effect. For God’s sake, don’t we have enough incredibly expensive pointless and futile endeavours to keep us busy? WAKE UP AND LEGALIZE MARIJUANA, then tax it and use the revenue to come up with some new social boogeyman that we need saving from

@Dummy Harry

June 13th, 2011
1:40 pm

You are the type of fool who thinks alcohol is not a drug. Tell me genius, when was the last time a teenager got all doped up on weed and wrapped himself around a telephone pole? Right. NEVER!! It doesn’t happen. Marijuana / hemp has all manner of benefits. Some therapeutic, some more mainstream.
The declaration of Independence was written on Hemp. Hemp could replace petroleum in carpet products. Marijuana could be taxed to the hilt and we might actually dig ourselves out of this horrible economy. Think about the job growth, too.
Prohibition is NOT preventing ONE SINGLE interested party from smoking weed. But you go ahead and keep your closed mind and head buried in sand.

Grob Hahn

June 13th, 2011
1:40 pm

UH, Bob? Weren’t YOU one of those “lock up all the addicts and toss the key” kind of “leaders”? Did you really change your mind? Or is pandering to trends just a perpetual habit? An addiction maybe?
Grobbbbbbbbbbb

Aquagirl

June 13th, 2011
1:44 pm

If someone smokes too much, they’re not gonna be stomping around a bar looking for a fight

Apparently you have never gotten between a stoner and his Cheetos.

Jimmy62

June 13th, 2011
1:57 pm

Grob Hahn: So what you are saying is that no one is allowed to change their opinion on anything?

Personally I applaud Mr. Barr for realizing the value of freedom over authoritarianism, and instead of insulting him for it, I support him!

Jimmy62

June 13th, 2011
2:01 pm

Aquagirl: Hilarious. And anti-productive, you are spreading lies about how stoners act, which only serve to perpetuate the false idea that someone who is stoned is more a danger to anyone than they would be sober.

Most of the drunks I know are angry and quick to fly off the handle. Most of the stoners I know are too lazy to do anything destructive. And you will die from overdosing on shots of water long before you overdose smoking weed (no record in history of anyone ever overdosing on pot, but people have definitely died from drinking too much water, should we make water illegal?).

really?

June 13th, 2011
2:10 pm

Devils Advocate….I dont see why you cant just legalize Marijuana. It is used way more than the harder drugs and generates the most money for organized crime. The growers and distributors dont want it to be legal, because they know that their ability to make profit will be greatly diminished. Further, it is unlike any of the other substances you compared it too in terms of addiction potential, withdrawal, and ability to impair. It should have never been classified as a schedule one drug! Its time for the government to admit they were wrong, and its time to abandon the futile effort to lie to the people about the true nature of Marijuana. I know many successful people who smoke weed every single day, which I dont recommend, all while balancing demanding lives and responsibilities. Look around you, everyone is already smoking it and it hasn’t ruined their lives. Prohibition, with regards to drugs, does not work….never has and never will.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
2:11 pm

Jefferson, STFU.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
2:12 pm

“Apparently you have never gotten between a stoner and his Cheetos.”

Aquashrill knows all about being stoned.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
2:12 pm

“As long as the Republican Party and many Democrats continue to bow down to the far right Christian extremists”

Delta is ready when you are, Dope.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
2:14 pm

“The War on Drugs is probably one of the reasons the west is drowning in dept. ”

Try again, Gump. America is drowning in debt due to idiotic spending by an idiotic president. See: 3 wars, Obozocare, failed stimulus packages, auto bailouts, bank bailouts, Euro-trash bailouts etc…..

WOW

June 13th, 2011
2:15 pm

“Prohibition does not work!”

Neither does liberalism and we’re all learning that lesson the hard way.

Al Gore

June 13th, 2011
2:19 pm

Malcolm Kyle – You are the reason they coined the phrase “Why do you think they call it dope?”

GT

June 13th, 2011
2:22 pm

“If you make using drugs a capitol offense, prison beds would be available for new offenders.”

Is that really what you want to do? Lets nuke em? That works fine with most conservatives until they are the ones getting nuke. Sure you or I may never use drugs but supposed you have a child or a grandchild. Is this more of that sacrificing the the other guy for your cause and is good until you have to get off the couch and account for you comments. Michael Douglas played in some movie where he was the drug czar. Tough guy until his daughter got hooked. We are all cowboys until we have a dog in the hunt, then the ones that are cowboys are just the mentally ill.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
2:23 pm

Boob, have you heard of Mexico? Yeah, you see, they have this thing called “drug wars” where thousands of people have been beheaded, shot, raped, hung, decapitated etc because of drugs.

You might want to rethink your column.

Thanks- Sane person

WOW

June 13th, 2011
2:24 pm

“That works fine with most conservatives until they are the ones getting nuke.”

No conservative in the history of the world has ever used nukes, dumb a$$.

The only person to use them was a socialist by the name of FDR.

Oh, and GT sucks.

GT is full of idiots

June 13th, 2011
2:27 pm

“Michael Douglas played in some movie where he was the drug czar.”

What a stupid stupid comment. So you base your opinion off of a fake drug czar in a movie?

really?

June 13th, 2011
2:35 pm

WOW you do realize those people in Mexico are killed because drugs are illegal here. The gangs in Mexico are fighting over production areas, and smuggling routes to feed our demand for illegal drugs. Its the illegality of drugs here thats causing the violence there. Now tell me this, does the violence that prohibition creates outweigh the damage that physical and social harm that drugs actually cause to users? Certainly not with regards to Marijuana. Let me put it another way, what is more dangerous to society, a man with a machine gun trying to protect his illegal profits, or someone legally smoking a joint in their house?

Mudfoot

June 13th, 2011
2:37 pm

Best reason of all to legalize marijuana… If this WOW person were to smoke some occasionally, he/she might actually stop and think about what he/she would like to say before spouting off. That way (since he/she tends to post endlessly) the posts wouldn’t sound like recordings of the latest Hannity show (hopefully) playing over and over, and over … and over… again

btw WOW, about the only way to end the cartel wars in Mexico would be legalization. The path our two gov’ts presently pursue is ridiculously expensive, fruitless and pointless. It has no merit and is an excersize in futility perpetuated by antique mindsets and lackluster thought process. I’m sure you’ll leave some fact-challenged, experience-free poutraged insult of a reply as that’s what reactionaries do. In the meantime hit this once or twice… your friends and family can thank me later

WOW

June 13th, 2011
2:37 pm

“you do realize those people in Mexico are killed because drugs are illegal here. ”

LOL!!! So it’s our fault?

really?

June 13th, 2011
2:44 pm

Absolutely its our fault. Who else is to blame? Its not like they are dying to satisfy their own nation’s demand for drugs. You can keep ignoring the obvious if it makes you feel better. People like you make being a libertarian that much more enjoyable.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
2:46 pm

“Absolutely its our fault. Who else is to blame?”

Ok, so it’s our fault other people kill each other. Ma’am, you are a colossal retard. Seriously, I bet you blame America for 9-11.

“You can keep ignoring the obvious if it makes you feel better.”

Or, I could just ignore your retarded rants, Gump.

“People like you make being a libertarian that much more enjoyable.”

You enjoy getting your a$$ beat in election after election, loser?

There’s a reason Libertarians never win. THEY SUCK!!!!!!!!

Jillian Galloway

June 13th, 2011
2:49 pm

Everybody knows that prohibition fuels crime. It’s impossible to ban widely popular products without enriching criminals willing to defy the law. It doesn’t matter if the product is cannabis, alcohol, tobacco or candy – banning any product with huge consumer demand is harmful to society and dangerous to our children.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
2:50 pm

really?

What problems have libertarians ever solved?

Answer: Nothing

Libertarians are great on paper but they never offer up any real solutions that work. Ron Paul is the only serious Libertarian-type candidate I’ve ever encountered but the guy will never get elected because a: he’s too negative, and b: he can and will never follow through on his suggestions.

Take the Afghan/Iraq wars. He’s talked about ending them but so has Obozo and Obozo has yet to draw down troops.

Remember, Gump. It’s easier to run for pres than to be pres.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
2:51 pm

“Everybody knows that prohibition fuels crime. ”

A lot of things fuel crime.

ted haggert

June 13th, 2011
2:51 pm

wow=wussie on web

Covers Dixie like the Dew

June 13th, 2011
2:58 pm

Guess who was President and Commander in Chief
when the ” War on Drugs ” was declared?

Richard Milhous Nixon

WOW

June 13th, 2011
3:02 pm

haggert = kkk grand wizard

really?

June 13th, 2011
3:03 pm

At least we have solutions. The elected officials in office are much like you. They would much rather bury their heads in the sand and continue with policies that indirectly and directly hurt society. Im not going to try and convince you to change your beliefs, because people like you live life better with their head buried in the sand.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
3:06 pm

“At least we have solutions. ”

No you don’t, just rhetoric.

“The elected officials in office are much like you.”

Which ones, Gump?

“because people like you live life better with their head buried in the sand.”

Little girl, you have no idea who I vote for or who I support.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
3:08 pm

really?

The most famous Libertarian, Ron Paul, offers nothing but doom and gloom. Not exactly a winning strategy. I’d rather support someone like Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal. You know, people who have actually accomplished things.

TYC

June 13th, 2011
3:09 pm

@ Ezra

…”If you get 20yrs for smoking pot, then the jail population would definitely get smaller. If you make using drugs a capitol offense, prison beds would be available for new offenders.”

Seriously, you want 20 years or death for using drugs? Great Idea!!! Do you want me to pull the trigger when it’s your kid that’s caught with a joint or will you take care of that trash?

Kill ‘em all. Seems so easy, right? Kill everybody that thinks differently than you. A perfectly legimeate policital strategy. Kill. Kill. Kill. You know, government is by consent. I don’t consent to you killing people over drug use. Quit it. You make the cartels look like little cry babies, right wing tough guy.

Once you kill everybody….well, look at your right hand. That’s your new girl friend…shoot, it may be your only friend now with your all or nothing attitude!

really?

June 13th, 2011
3:14 pm

Like I said, buried in the sand. So you really think our drug policies have been successful?

sleepy

June 13th, 2011
3:21 pm

how is this argument any diff then the right to abort, own a gun, or get kinky in the privacy of your own home. keep your govt. hands off my crack pipe.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
3:26 pm

“Like I said, buried in the sand. So you really think our drug policies have been successful?”

Still waiting on your “we have solutions” answer. Our drug policies are retarded but then again, so are most people.

Legalize all drugs and you end up with a larger version of Amsterdam. Good luck with that.

GT

June 13th, 2011
3:33 pm

The Douglas thing was an example, in real life I have a couple of dozen friends who have kids or members of the family addicted while their parents, my friends, never touched to stuff. I have a couple of cousins in Columbus, got with that Army crowd there and now are in rehab. They tell me a good number of the soldiers serving our country use it and many are addicted. If you go outside your front door you will run into it. It is like one of those Colonel Muammar Gaddafi propaganda films, a war tearing his country up and on television it looks like Disneyland, very peaceful. Drugs everywhere and the government in their propaganda are winning.

@WOW

June 13th, 2011
3:38 pm

What kind of problems do they have in Amsterdam?

Also if we ended the war on drugs, as well as the other wars we’re currently engaged in, Legalize and tax cannabis and cut defense spending back down to sane levels, we as a country might not have to furlough Cobb County cops, or city of Atlanta firemen or the music department in EVERY high school in America.

Solutions, not rhetoric, Gump. By the way you’re a tool of the highest order.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
3:42 pm

“What kind of problems do they have in Amsterdam?”

Islam.

“Also if we ended the war on drugs, as well as the other wars we’re currently engaged in”

Take it up with Obama.

“Solutions, not rhetoric, Gump. By the way you’re a tool of the highest order.”

You didn’t offer solutions, Troglodyte. BTW, come up with your own insults instead of borrowing mine. K

“Legalize and tax cannabis and cut defense spending back down to sane levels”

HAHAAH!!!!!!!! There is no way to tax cannabis, ma’am. No way no how. As far as cutting defense spending, that is retarded.

Let’s cut entitlements, tard. It’s lazy a$$ people like you who are a drain on the system.

“we as a country might not have to furlough Cobb County cops, or city of Atlanta firemen or the music department in EVERY high school in America.”

LOLOL!!!!!!! Music department?????

WOW

June 13th, 2011
3:42 pm

GT

It’s called life choices. They made the choice to become addicted. Sounds like you’re a very confused person.

@WOW

June 13th, 2011
3:49 pm

Why cut civil jobs like cops and teachers to finance some BS war somewhere. Can’t you see this is what is killing America. No infrastructure, no Manufacturing, No commitment to education. By the way rocket boy, kids who take music, excel in mathematics.

By the way, I have never been unemployed in my entire life.

Islam in Amsterdam? I invite you to check out google earth and see where Amsterdam is in the world and tell how many muslims you think are there. Dude you need to spend a couple of years catching up. I suggest burying your head in wikipedia rather than the sand.

@WOW

June 13th, 2011
3:51 pm

No Way to tax cannabis? Check out the billion dollars California will bank this year from taxed sales.

I wonder how far Mrs. WOW had to run away to feel safe from you, tool.

Producer

June 13th, 2011
3:53 pm

Prohibition against alcohol didn’t work back in the day and today’s war on drugs is the same way. Legalize it all, tax the s**t out of it, reduce our nation’s debt in the process and set up treatment centers for the idiots and fools who can’t handle it.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
3:58 pm

“No Way to tax cannabis? Check out the billion dollars California will bank this year from taxed sales.”

California is going bankrupt real soon.

“I wonder how far Mrs. WOW had to run away to feel safe from you, tool.”

Love how you suck at comebacks, troglodyte.

MB

June 13th, 2011
4:01 pm

[i]No conservative in the history of the world has ever used nukes, dumb a$$.

The only person to use them was a socialist by the name of FDR.[/i]

FAIL

WOW

June 13th, 2011
4:01 pm

“Why cut civil jobs like cops and teachers to finance some BS war somewhere.”

Your words not mine, dork. Again, ask that to Obozo since he’s the one in charge.

“No infrastructure, no Manufacturing, No commitment to education. By the way rocket boy, kids who take music, excel in mathematics.”

Blame Clinton since he’s the one who came up with NAFTA.

“By the way rocket boy, kids who take music, excel in mathematics.”

Got anything to back that up, Gump?

“By the way, I have never been unemployed in my entire life.”

Liar liar, dress on fire.

“Islam in Amsterdam? ”

Guess you’ve never heard of Theo Van Gogh.

Here you go, Gump.

http://www.euro-islam.info/country-profiles/city-profiles/amsterdam/

WOW

June 13th, 2011
4:05 pm

MB

Oh my bad, it was the “other” Democrat Harry Truman (Democrat)

Let me correct that. It was a socialist who gave the go ahead to build the bomb and another Democrat who gave the orders to drop it.

In other words, no REPUBLICAN has ever dropped the bomb on another country.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
4:06 pm

@WOW

Are you that dumb to believe that wars are the cause of teachers being laid off? Hello Gump, it’s called union pensions being too high. It’s called entitlements.

Wars have gotten us out of recessions. See: WW2.

observer

June 13th, 2011
4:19 pm

WOW…WW2 did not directly pull us out of the great depression. It was the utter destruction of the rest of the developed world that allowed us to grow in the absence of any real competition. This absence of competition allowed us to grow and become a global superpower. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not like WW2….they have no defined ending point and only hold the nation back while the other nations of the world catch up….ie China and the European Union. We can keep throwing away money on useless wars, or we could follow Dwight D. Eisenhower’s advice and look at the other things we could spend that money on…schools, bridges, and community centers. Eisenhower warned us of the military industrial complex, and we did not listen.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
4:27 pm

“WW2 did not directly pull us out of the great depression. ”

It sure did help.

“The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not like WW2″

“schools, bridges, and community centers.”

LOL!!!!! Yeah, cause those three things will create jobs!!!!! LOL

“Eisenhower warned us of the military industrial complex, and we did not listen.”

Ike was a general, observer. Also, Ike is dead.

Never said the were.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
4:29 pm

observer

Democrats have gotten us into more wars than Republicans.

LukasAtl

June 13th, 2011
4:41 pm

All, please ignore the troll “WOW”

WOW

June 13th, 2011
4:43 pm

LukasAtl

What a profound comment, low IQ.

MrLiberty

June 13th, 2011
4:44 pm

WOW, there are plenty of wonderful web sites that can provide you with the education you sorely lack in Austrian economics, free market economics, drug war history, crime statistics, the economic history of the depression, what our supposed “defense dollars” are really spent on and the like. Clearly there are way too many well-educated folks on this site who know far more than you about this subject (and obviously all the others too) and the abject failure throughout history to try and control personal behavior (especially behavior that harms nobody but the actor).

As for Amsterdam, it is a wonderful city. You can walk by coffee shops where dozens of people are all getting high and not even notice that anything out of the ordinary is going on (because it isn’t). People go to work, money is made, etc. The prostitutes are generally in one area and they live upstairs and downstairs from normal families with children and the like and there are no issues generally. If anything, the biggest problems result from the fact that so many un-free folks (like from the US) travel their and behave like kids in a candy store that have just been turned loose.

Freedom works. America should try it some time.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
4:55 pm

“Clearly there are way too many well-educated folks on this site ”

And you’re not one of them.

“As for Amsterdam, it is a wonderful city.”

Yep, you can get your throat slit, herpes etc.. Wonderful city.

“Freedom works. America should try it some time.”

Gotta love stupid people.

Chong

June 13th, 2011
5:34 pm

Legalization of narcotic drugs won’t happen in the U.S. because the livelihoods of so many people depend on them remaining illegal. Think of all the cops, prison guards, prosecutors, judges, probation officers who’d be out of work.

Brandon C

June 13th, 2011
5:49 pm

@DirtyHarry (and others this may apply) – Your concern is “what do we legalize next? Murder?”. I say to that: murder is already decriminalized. Granted you must be in self-defense, but currently *there is NO Federal law* to allow any citizen to defend their medical use of cannabis what-so-ever; even if their life depends on it. So I’d say murder is technically legal already. But we don’t go around encouraging people do murder as it’s totally wrong. On the other hand, we certainly don’t need to be putting drug abusers in jail for “doing no harm to others”. A crime is a crime, and still would be regardless if alcohol or other drugs are legal. It’s simple logic really.

Carlosgvv

June 13th, 2011
8:30 pm

WOW

Eisenhower was President of The United States as well as a General. He did warn us about The Military Industrial Complex and he was right. Why do you think we really got into Iraq and Afghanistan and, more importantly, why do you think it’s proving so hard for us to get out? The huge profits defense contractors are making and the portion of that money they are giving to the politicians will keep us in those Contries for many years.

WOW

June 13th, 2011
9:53 pm

“Why do you think we really got into Iraq and Afghanistan”

9-11 and weapons inspectors getting kicked out of Iraq.

@WOW

June 13th, 2011
10:25 pm

Glad the debate raged on in my absence. WOW, answer me this and i’m gonna break it down real good for ya.

Isn’t AMERICA a better place with fully funded POLICE, FIRE & SCHOOL SYSTEMS than without?

I am middle of the road politically. I believe that sick and indigent people should be taken care of by the state. People without jobs, should have to pass a drug test to collect unemployment. I believe in gay marriage because if any two people can have love and happiness they deserve to be legally recognized. I hate abortion, but I’m not a woman, so I don’t have the right to comment.

I have been employed in the same field for 30 years.

Here is where I’ll challenge you to open your mind. I have three credit cards and can’t remember what i bought. This country has how many trillion dollars worth of debt and what for. Swindling bankers portraying the single greatest fraud / ripoff in history and the tax payer is left holding the bag. The empty bag of debt.

Government wants to take the skin off the middle class every time to make up the difference. Which wouldn’t be so bad if TEACHERS, PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS & FIREMEN were not getting laid off.

I grew up idealistic and liberal. Then a conservative streak kicked and I actually like George W. Bush. But here is where the rubber hits the road for me know. Big Business pays no taxes and shifts as many jobs overseas as possible, while CEO’s are clearing UNGODLY profits. THEY are doing NOTHING to help John Q. Public. Longer hours, more scrutiny, higher costs for benefits, Fuel, Food, everything. When do we stop spending on things we don’t need to make sure we cover the necessities, like Teachers, Cops and Firemen?

chris

June 13th, 2011
10:39 pm

Enter your comments here

WOW

June 13th, 2011
11:02 pm

“Isn’t AMERICA a better place with fully funded POLICE, FIRE & SCHOOL SYSTEMS than without?”

No not really. Public schools suck and teachers are a bunch of whiny little babies.

“I believe that sick and indigent people should be taken care of by the state. ”

So you’re a socialist.

“I believe in gay marriage ”

Gay marriage is an oxymoron. If butt sex is your thing…….

“This country has how many trillion dollars worth of debt and what for. Swindling bankers portraying the single greatest fraud / ripoff in history and the tax payer is left holding the bag. The empty bag of debt. ”

1: Obama has tripled the deficit since he took office in 09.
2: If you don’t like banks, pull your money out and hide it under your bed.

“Which wouldn’t be so bad if TEACHERS, PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS & FIREMEN were not getting laid off. ”

Not my problem.

“Big Business pays no taxes ”

You’re full of crap.

“while CEO’s are clearing UNGODLY profits. ‘

You sound like Karl Marx.

“When do we stop spending on things we don’t need to make sure we cover the necessities, like Teachers, Cops and Firemen?”

I’m all for getting rid of Medicare, welfare and other entitlements. I’m also all for getting rid of unions.

@WOW

June 13th, 2011
11:18 pm

It is my sincerest hope that you have managed to live this long without procreating. I’d prefer that you do not respond, cause i dont ever want to know.

Julia

June 14th, 2011
3:02 am

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MasterOfNone

June 14th, 2011
9:01 am

Wow, Bob…. you have come a long way from just a few short years ago. Prohibition does not work. All it does is make criminals out of a lot of otherwise decent people. There will always be people for which the word “moderation” means nothing. Those people are going to overdo it whether or not its legal. But for a lot of other people, sharing a bottle of wine or a joint is a truly harmless act… except the part that the latter serves to fund violence throughout Central America. It is time the violence stopped, it is time funding for the cartels was shut down, it is time that U.S. citizens stopped being turned into criminals for no other reason than increased government power and control.

WOW

June 14th, 2011
9:10 am

“It is my sincerest hope that you have managed to live this long without procreating. I’d prefer that you do not respond, cause i dont ever want to know.’

In other words, you’re a complete idiot with socialist tendencies who tried to change the subject to something that has nothing to do with this debate.

You ma’am, are a moron.

WOW'S racing thoughts

June 14th, 2011
9:43 am

OH MY GOD, I SKIPPED MY MEDS SO I’M POSTING CRAP COMPULSIVELY OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN……AT LEAST IT’S BETTER THAN PICKING AT THE BUGS UNDER MY SKIN THAT REALLY HURTS AFTER A WHILE!!!

Jimmy62

June 14th, 2011
10:27 am

WOW: You have a lot of facts that are dead wrong. Manufacturing, for instance, is at a higher level in the US than it ever has been in history, yet you say we have no manufacturing. What we have is highly productive manufacturing, more productive than any other country on Earth. We just have less people working in it since it’s so automated now.

Get your facts straight, arguments based on fantasy will never sway anyone.

LukasAtl

June 14th, 2011
10:36 am

Please do not feed the trolls

Troll: In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

be_atl

June 14th, 2011
10:53 am

changing the public policy on drugs will require changing hearts and minds, those hearts and minds that have been taught for decades that the War is the proper way. so people need to buy into a plan that includes health and safety of minors. so, any decriminalization efforts must have good programs for minors- prevention and treatment- and the campaign to change must be in a palatable language. like instead of decriminlization, make it an Intervention on Drugs.

WOW'S racing thoughts

June 14th, 2011
10:59 am

OMG I AM SO BUSTED, IF THESE PEOPLE STOP FEEDING ME I WON’T EXIST ANYMORE, I NEED ATTENTION, WHAT WILL I EVER DO? WAHHHHHHHH…..MOMMY!!!

WOW'S racing thoughts

June 14th, 2011
11:07 am

OH, BTW, I HAVE BEEN BANNED FROM SEVERAL OTHER AJC BLOGS FOR MY COMPULSIVE DIPWAD BEHAVIOR SO YOU CAN DARNED WELL BET I’M A CLASSIC TROLL. IT’S A SAD LIFE.

gscott

June 14th, 2011
11:12 am

Cracked out addicts are a lot less likely to kill you or your family then some gangbanger with a gun. And the people who get high and drive already do so regardless of whether it is legal or not.

Brandt Hardin

June 14th, 2011
3:29 pm

The War on Drugs failed Billions of dollars ago! This money could have been used for outreach programs to clean up the bad end of drug abuse by providing free HIV testing, free rehab, and clean needles. Harmless drugs like marijuana could be legalized to help boost our damaged economy. Cannabis can provide hemp for countless natural recourses and the tax revenue from sales alone would pull every state in our country out of the red! Vote Teapot, PASS IT, and legalize it. Voice you opinion with the movement and check out my pro-cannabis art at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/01/vote-teapot-2011.html

Lee

June 14th, 2011
7:36 pm

I’ve always heard that the two groups most opposed to ending Prohibition were the bootleggers and the cops. Apparently, the same holds true for drugs.

Bottom line, if you outlaw an inanimate object that people want, you instantly create a black market for that object. Alcohol, drugs, guns, you name it – the end result will be the same.

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Legalizing Cannabis

June 17th, 2011
12:06 am

Legalization is the best thing that could happen right now, for so many reasons. I think it’s coming soon.

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